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Target has revised the numbers of customers whose credit card data may have been breached from Nov. 27 to Dec. 15 from 40 million to 70 million and now to 110 million.
Target has said it will provide one year of free credit monitoring and identity theft protection to all customers who shopped at its stores, not just those who have been affected. Customers have three months to enroll in the program by going to Target’s Web site.
Target's q and a page on the breach is here.
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The Obama Administration has issued a set of guidelines for schools. They urge an end to "zero tolerance" policies. Minor infractions should lead to a visit to the principal's office, not the police station.
The Administration says the policies have had a racially discriminatory effect on minorities.
The recommendations are nonbinding, but, in essence, the federal government is telling the school districts around the country that they should adhere to the principles of fairness and equity in student discipline or face strong action if they don't.
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The CT state police yesterday released 7,000 pages of reports and exhibits in its investigation of Adam Lanza and the Sandy Hook shootings. His medical reports are not included (as opposed to a description of his treatment and recollections of some of his treatment providers made after the shootings). A lot of other material pertaining to the victims and interviews of witnesses is redacted. The reports don't reveal what caused him to go on the killing rampage, and unlike the media, the police don't speculate.
You can download the documents here.
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The Department of Justice, at the direction of the Judge presiding over the MegaUpload/Kim Dotcom criminal case in Virginia, has published a 191 page report outlining the evidence it claims supports the charges. The DOJ webpage with documents is here.
Kim Dotcom's reaction:
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Three years ago, I signed the bipartisan Fair Sentencing Act, which dramatically narrowed the disparity between penalties for crack and powder cocaine offenses. This law began to right a decades-old injustice, but for thousands of inmates, it came too late. If they had been sentenced under the current law, many of them would have already served their time and paid their debt to society. Instead, because of a disparity in the law that is now recognized as unjust, they remain in prison, separated from their families and their communities, at a cost of millions of taxpayer dollars each year.
Today, I am commuting the prison terms of eight men and women who were sentenced under an unfair system. Each of them has served more than 15 years in prison. In several cases, the sentencing judges expressed frustration that the law at the time did not allow them to issue punishments that more appropriately fit the crime.
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Rafael Caro-Quintero, freed from prison in Mexico after 28 years when a court in Mexico reversed his conviction (a decision later reversed by a reviewing court) has written a letter to Mexican officials urging them to reject the U.S. demand for his extradition. He is charged in federal court in California with the 1985 murder of DEA Agent Kiki Camarena.
Caro-Quintero's lawyers submitted the letter on his behalf. His current whereabouts are reportedly unknown. [More...]
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A Las Vegas judge has denied O.J. Simpson's bid for a new trial. Lawyers for Simpson argued at a hearing held months ago that his trial counsel was ineffective and had a conflict of interest. From the opinion:
“Mr. Simpson failed to demonstrate that counsel experienced an actual conflict of interest that substantially impacted counsel’s performance at trial. Mr. Simpson also failed to establish that the State withheld exculpatory evidence. Finally, Mr. Simpson failed to establish that appellate and trial counsel were ineffective or that any deficient performance by counsel resulted in prejudice. Given the overwhelming amount of evidence, neither the errors in this case, nor the errors collectively, cause this court to question the validity of Mr. Simpson’s conviction.”
Simpson's current attorney says he will appeal to the Nevada Supreme Court, and if he loses, file a habeas action in federal court.
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Crystal Mangum, who falsely accused the Duke Lacrosse players of sexual assault, has been convicted of second degree murder in the stabbing death of her boyfriend. The judge sentenced her to 14 to 18 years in prison.
Mangum testified at her trial and claimed self-defense. The victim, who lived for 10 days after she stabbed him, told investigators before he died that he had been trying to get away from her.
She testified he beat her that night, but "she was unable to explain why paramedics who checked her out after her arrest found no evidence that she had been beaten or choked." Also, "blood drops were on the carpet in the hallway where Daye said she stabbed him, but not in the master bedroom where Mangum said she stabbed him. [More...]
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After serving 11 years for the murder of Martha Moxley, Michael Skakel has been freed on $1.2 million bond pending a retrial.
Skakel, the nephew of Ethel Kennedy, was 15 years old in 1975 when Martha Moxley was murdered. The crime went unsolved for more than 20 years and suspicion had always focused on his brother Tommy. After Dominick Dunne and Mark Fuhrman re-ignited interest in the case through their books, suspicion shifted to Skakel and in 2000, he was charged with murder. He was convicted at trial and sentenced to 20 years to life.
Had Michael Skakel been charged in 1975 when the murder occurred, he would have been tried in juvenile court and if convicted, received a sentence of no more than two years. That's how juveniles were treated back then in Connecticut.
At the time of the crime, there was a five year statute of limitation on murder, which had expired by the time Michael was charged. In upholding the conviction, the Court overruled its own 1983 precedent. (More on that below.)
I'm glad Skakel's conviction was overturned, but I don't agree his conviction was the result of inadequate representation at trial. Here's what I think went wrong at the Skakel trial and on appeal. A recap: [More...]
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Did politics and the DEA get to the Mexico Supreme Court? The Court has overturned the August order of an appeals court releasing Rafael Caro-Quintero (background here.) Caro-Quintero served 28 years before an appeals court reversed his conviction, finding the federal court in Mexico lacked jurisdiction because since DEA Agent Camerena was not a consulate official or diplomat, Caro-Quintero should have been tried in state court.
After a meeting in Washington in September, Mexican Attorney General Jesús Murillo Karam promised that authorities in his country would reapprehend Caro Quintero.
The U.S. is now offering a $5 million reward for Caro-Quintero's arrest. His whereabouts are unknown.
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Police have identified Aaron Alexis, a 34 year old from Texas, as the Navy Yard shooter. 13 people are dead, including Alexis.
Aaron Alexis, a native of New York, who served in the Navy from 2007 to 2011 as an aviation electrician’s mate 3rd class, allegedly entered the base early Monday morning, perhaps using another man’s identification card to pass through the gates.
....From 2008 until his discharge in 2011, Alexis was a member of an aviation support squadron based in Fort Worth, Texas, where he worked on C-40s, a military version of the Boeing 737 that the Navy uses as a cargo plane. Law enforcement officials said that he was more recently working as a military contractor.
He was born in Queens, NY. Authorities say he used another employee's ID to enter the yard. But they don't believe that employee was involved. His motive is unknown.
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Somali pirate negotiator Ali Mohamed Ali scored a big victory last week when a U.S. District Court Judge ordered him released on bond subject to home detention pending trial, primarily due to the excessive length of his pretrial detention (28 months.) The Court's opinion is here.
The Government filed an emergency request for a stay pending appeal, which has been granted by the Appeals court.
PER CURIAM ORDER filed  granting motion to return appellee to custody [1455046-2]; The district court is directed to enter an order returning appellee immediately to the custody of the United States; Granting request to expedite briefing; Setting briefing schedule: Appellant’s Memorandum of Law and Fact due 09/09/2013. Appellee’s Memorandum of Law and Fact due on 09/12/2013.
Ali is now back in custody. Ali's case has been the subject of several appeals, including one over jurisdiction. He was assisting the victims of the pirated Danish ship and its owner by negotiating with the pirates for the release of hostages.
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Shellie Zimmerman's lawyer today announced she has filed for divorce.
John Donnelly, a family friend who testified in George Zimmerman's defense at his trial, told Reuters that Shellie was "devastated" when her husband "just packed up and left" after his acquittal and was gone for a month without telling anyone his whereabouts. Shellie had lost touch with him and had grown increasingly upset.
The divorce petition is here.
(No character attacks on anyone please. They will be deleted.)
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